When it comes to choosing the best material selection for a cylinder head gasket and specific application there are a lot of things to consider. It’s essential that the material is compatible with the surrounding environment, can withstand the operating temperature and pressure, and is flexible enough to achieve a good seal.
A brief history
Even up until the 1980’s, asbestos-based sheet packing was the material most used to make commercial and industrial gaskets. Due to its resistance to high temperatures, durability, flexibility, and its relatively affordable cost, asbestos was an ideal choice for gaskets.
Of course, we now know that exposure to asbestos is extremely harmful. Therefore by cutting, sawing or sanding it workers were being exposed to microscopic asbestos fibres. Resulting in a dangerous work environment.
In view of this, the gasket industry needs asbestos-free materials. However, they still need to maintain the high levels of durability, flexibility, and resistance of asbestos. As a result, the following materials were introduced:
- Elastomeric materials such as Nitrile Rubber, Butyl Rubber and Styrene Butadiene
- Fibrous materials such Glass, Cellulose, Carbon Fibre
- Metal materials such Aluminium, Steel, Titanium
- Other materials such PTFE
There are three categories of gasket material; soft (non-metallic), semi-metallic, or metallic. That being said, gaskets will still vary massively depending on their intended application and the material. In order to choose the right material it’s important to assess the intended application:
- Will it face extreme temperatures?
- What is its chemical environment?
- How much pressure must it withstand?
- What is its atmospheric environment?
To this end, one material might be perfect for a specific application. However, it may be completely inadequate for another.
A bespoke gasket solution
There are plenty of cylinder head gasket materials and custom head gasket manufacturers to choose from. But, remember it’s all about quality. The cost of an engine gasket is minimal when you compare it to the impact of damage, downtime, or even someone’s safety.
By working with a cylinder head gasket specialist like Stephens Gaskets, you can create a gasket that matches its environment perfectly.
Since 1947, Stephens Gaskets has manufactured shims, washers and gaskets for clients all over the world. Our state of the art machinery, expert team and years of experience ensure we create quality gaskets every time. Whether your order is large or small we deliver on time and with accuracy.
Benefits of a cylinder-head gasket:
- Prevent gas, coolant and oil leakage
- Ductile, no re-torque, low distortion
- High chemical resistance (such as combustion gas, lubricant/coolant)
- Helps to reduce fuel consumption and emissions
- Resists high temperatures